Don’t get me wrong. I have no reason to doubt that Hiram Gaviria is a perfectly decent sort of fellow. He’d make a quite suitable school principal, possibly even a passable Minister of Administrative Affairs.
But in terms of campaigning, of crafting a message that talks to people’s hopes, to their dreams, to their fears and aspirations, in terms of constructing a narrative about what the campaign is about, of framing the election in terms that give voters an emotional "hook" to hang their votes on, in terms of grasping the bare basics of mass political communications in the 21st century, or even of giving any sign that he’s understood that the rules of the game have changed, that Chávez has upped the messaging ante and that a technocratic drone delivered in punctiliously professorial language just won’t cut it anymore, the guy fails about as comprehensibly as it is possible to fail.
What’s really pathetic is that the video, ostensibly, addresses itself to "the youth." This guy really thinks he’s down with the kids putting a video like this up on the intertubez!
Here’s an idea, Hiram: gather together a group of kids, aged 18-22, and make them watch this clip. Observe their reactions closely from the other side of a one-way mirror. Count how many of them are still awake by the end of the 8 minutes and 24 seconds. A third of them? Less?
Running against PSUV with Candidates who talk like Hiram Gaviria is just hopeless: like trying to threaten a homicidal nut wielding a bazooka with a set of nail-clippers. Really, it’s that bad.
It makes me sad, because structurally, September should be easy for us. With crime out of control, electric shortages still hitting most of the country, and a stagflationary spiral en pleno desarrollo, we don’t even need good messaging. Just competent messaging. That’s not too high a bar to set, is it?Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.